Restaurant News

Top Chef Masters Contestant and NYC-Born Chef Herb Wilson to Head Up Scottsdale's New Sumo Maya Restaurant

Sumo Maya, the Mexican-Asian kitchen from Valley restaurateur German Osio (Local Bistro, Central Bistro) is bringing on a chef who's no stranger to global cuisine -- or reality television, for that matter.

The stylish new North Scottsdale restaurant (at the intersection of Scottsdale and Lincoln roads) is set to open in March with Herbert "Herb" Wilson as its executive chef and Osio's partner in the business.

The New York City-born Wilson was featured on last year's Top Chef Masters, Bravo's reality competition series, in which he was "the only chef to have received a two-star review from the New York Times on three separate occasions, by three different reviewers, at three different restaurants."

And Wilson's got a lot more on his résumé than a television appearance.

See also: 10 Most Anticipated Metro Phoenix Restaurant Openings in 2014

After working under the late Patrick Clark (an innovator in American cuisine during the 1980s), Wilson spent several years at three-star Michelin kitchens in France before returning to Manhattan to serve as executive chef at Le Refuge. Later, Wilson opened the city's first upscale Caribbean concept, Bambou, before taking the reins at Bull Run Restaurant. Prior to moving to the Valley to oversee the opening of Sumo Maya, Wilson most recently was executive chef at Sushi Samba in Las Vegas.

At Sumo Maya, Wilson is creating a menu that combines traditional sushi, ceviche, tacos, and noodles with more exotic Asian-Latin fusion plates -- and cooked on everything from Argentinean-style wood-fired rotisserie to a cast-iron plancha and woks.

At his newest gig, Wilson says he's most excited to connect with the Valley's network of small-scale farmers and boutique food purveyors.

"That was something I really enjoyed in New York, and it wasn't really an option in Las Vegas," Wilson says. "As Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten once told me, 65 percent of great food is the ingredients, and only 35 percent is technique."

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld